Public relations officers have to be able to handle all kinds of different tasks and kinds of clients, especially if they're hoping to stick around in the PR business for years and years.
But if you're at a stage in your life where you're still deciding whether or not public relations would be a good fit for you, you might be asking, 'What makes a good public relations officer?'
Well, if that sounds like you, or even if you're just curious about public relations in a more general sense, we're here to help.
As per usual, we can't speak for the entire PR industry by any means, but we can definitely talk about certain traits that can help you find success in this very competitive field and that will allow you to better handle the challenges the job will throw at you day after day.
If you go through our list and don't feel that all of these apply to you as you are today, it doesn't mean that you're out of the running.
Becoming successful means growing and doing your best to improve.
Really, the most important piece of the puzzle is having a passion for PR and a willingness to get better.
With that in mind, let's get down to brass tacks.
We've definitely mentioned this in previous articles because it really is important for anyone looking to work in PR: you need to be able to listen.
Listening to the client might be the first thought that comes to mind, but it definitely doesn't stop there.
You also need to listen to your coworkers, to your boss, and to anyone else who's invested in your growth as a public relations officer.
All constructive criticism has value, even if you don't happen to agree with it right away.
When you have a disagreement of any kind with a coworker or a client, the first step to finding a resolution is listening closely and carefully.
If you have questions about someone else's viewpoint, ask those questions. Additionally, try your best to be very clear when you're explaining your own viewpoint.
A stubborn PR rep who repeatedly fails to listen to others is going to make things much more difficult for themselves.
It doesn't cost anything at all to listen, so go ahead and do it as often as you can.
If you've ever perused job sites, then you already know how common it is for employers to seek out candidates who would call themselves 'team players' without hesitation.
Though it might be seen as a cliche by some, there's a very good reason for this.
So few jobs allow employees to work 100% independently of one another, and public relations definitely isn't one of those jobs.
Thankfully, effective teamwork isn't just a skill you have to be born with; it can be learned over time.
In fact, a big part of gaining this skill has to do with what we were just talking about: listening. But of course, there's a lot more to it as well.
For example, when you walk into a brainstorming session, never assume that you're the most important person and that your idea is automatically the best, even if you've already put a great deal of thought into it.
Great ideas can be formed collectively, and it's not only ok but encouraged to build on top of someone else's breakthrough.
PR has changed a lot over the last twenty years, and it will continue to change even more in the coming years.
For one thing, this means that PR professionals need to be able to adapt to changing situations and shifting paradigms. But it also means that successful public relations officers are very often the ones willing to think outside the box and look for new solutions.
There's a great deal of value to traditional public relations concepts and approaches, but even those old ideas were once revolutionary, and there's always room for new ideas if they're effective.
Never delay a campaign so that you can look for brand new ideas, but if you have ample time, don't be afraid to strike out into new territory. You just might find an idea that will make it into the textbooks of the future!
Working in public relations at any level often involves juggling several different tasks at the same time, and potentially multiple campaigns as well.
This is why it's so essential for public relations officers to be responsible professionals first and foremost.
If you've just received a new assignment, don't procrastinate. Don't put it off until it gets mentioned again.
When things go wrong and you know you made a mistake, don't shirk it off and let someone else take the blame. Being a responsible PR professional also means taking responsibility for your mistakes and working to correct them as best you can.
The PR industry has no room for those hoping to dodge accountability and coast by.
If you're a responsible person in other aspects of your life, then you'll have a leg up on the competition when you get a job in PR.
Forgive us if this sounds like yet another cliche, but work ethic is extremely important in public relations.
Whether you're working for a big PR agency or starting your own PR company, you always need to be hungry for more assignments and more clients.
If you want to excel in public relations, then you should be ready to work each and every day. Aside from the day to day work of each campaign and securing new clients, you will also have to work on yourself and grow as a professional.
The most successful people never really reach a point of complacency and permanent satisfaction. Instead, they're always looking for new avenues, new projects that will catapult them to even greater success.
If you want to be a public relations officer, be ready to work. It's an absolute must and a fitting way to conclude our conversation here.
We look forward to providing you with even more tips and advice in the future, so keep an eye on our site.